British Columbia Daily Snow

Good storm on Tuesday

Summary

A storm will bring moderate to heavy snow to the Coast Range and Northern Columbia Range on Tuesday with Whistler, Cypress/Grouse/Seymour, Shames, and Revelstoke all in line for good totals. After a relative lull for most areas during the middle of the week, another strong storm will bring heavy snow to Coastal and Northern BC on Friday.

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Short Term Forecast

A strong storm approaching from the northwest will bring snow to most of the province on Monday night and Tuesday, with Tuesday being the prime time to ski powder (for areas that are open) in Coastal BC and Wednesday for the Interior.

Here is a look at the visible satellite on Monday morning, which shows a well-defined area of low pressure spinning in the Gulf of Alaska that will track to the south and east and bring snow to BC over the next 24-48 hours.

 

Coastal BC:

A strong storm will bring significant snowfall from Monday night through Tuesday night with the heaviest snow rates occurring during the daytime hours on Tuesday. This storm has a lot going for it, including a strong surface low, favorable southwest winds, abundant moisture, and a favorable jet stream position.

Freezing levels will creep up to around 1,200 meters for most areas on Monday night/early Tuesday (up to 1,500 meters on Vancouver Island), before falling from midday Tuesday on as colder air arrives.

Snow Forecast through Tuesday Night:

  • 15-40 cm (6-16") for most ski resorts
  • 30-60 cm (1-2 feet) for the Bella Coola region/Coast Range north of Whistler

On Wednesday lingering snow showers will result in an additional trace-5 cm (trace-2"). We'll see a break from Wednesday night through early Thursday, then another powerful storm will arrive on Thursday. night and Friday.

This next storm has some question marks on the exact track, and also freezing levels. There will be plenty of moisture, but the deepest moisture will likely arrive once winds shift to west/northwest on Friday, which is less favorable for Whistler and more favorable for Cypress, Grouse, Seymour, and Manning Park.

Freezing levels will also be a challenge as early indications are that we could see these levels rise to 1,500 meters on Thursday night and Friday before falling on Friday night, which could cut into totals at the Vancouver area resorts.

For now, I'd say we could see anywhere from 15-50 cm (6-24") from Thursday night through Friday night depending on how these factors play out. Friday afternoon and Saturday morning will probably offer the deepest turns and best conditions as freezing levels drop.

Stay tuned.

Interior BC:

A weak disturbance will bring light snow showers to the Interior on Monday, but amounts will be light, ranging from a trace to 5 cm (trace-2").

A stronger storm will then arrive on Tuesday, bringing a round of moderate snow to all areas, and possibly heavy snow to the North Columbias. The heaviest snow rates are expected on Tuesday night, with Wednesday morning offering the softest turns for areas that are open. Lighter snow will continue to fall throughout the day on Wednesday.

Freezing levels will be low throughout this storm with cold air in place.

The Canadian Model is projecting a fairly even distribution in snowfall totals, while the European and American GFS both project higher-end totals for the North Columbias including Revelstoke, which I think makes sense given these areas do well with both southwest and northwest winds, and that is how this storm is shaping up with southwest winds to start followed by northwest winds. 

Snow Forecast from Tuesday Morning through Wednesday Night:

  • 10-30 cm (4-12") for the North Columbias (Revelstoke, Rogers Pass, Mustang Powder, Galena Lodge, Monashee Powdercats)
  • 5-15 cm (2-6") for all other areas with isolated higher amounts possible

Another storm will arrive late in the week, but models are in poor agreement regarding timing. Friday will be the most likely day for snow, but we could see snow arrive as late as Thursday night and persist as late as Saturday afternoon/Saturday evening.

Warmer air with this next storm will likely result in freezing levels rising to around 1,200-1,500 meters before falling as colder air arrives on the backside of the storm. For now, I think snow totals will be similar to Tuesday's storm, but confidence is low so that may change moving forward.

Northern BC:

A strong storm will bring snow on Monday night and Tuesday, with the heaviest snow expected across the Coast Range on Monday night and across the Cariboos and Northern Rockies on Tuesday night.

Snow Forecast through Tuesday Night:

  • 25-50 cm (10-20") for the Coast Range, including Shames Mountain
  • 15-45 cm (6-18") for the Cariboos and Northern Rockies, including Powder King
  • 5-20 cm (2-8") for the Skeena Range and interior regions, including Hudson Bay Mountain

After a break in the action on Wednesday, another strong storm will arrive on Thursday and Friday, and due to the slow-moving nature of this storm snow totals will likely be even higher compared to the early week storm.

Early indications are that we could see 45-90 cm (1.5-3 feet) for the Coast Range, 30-60 cm (1-2 feet) for the Cariboos and Northern Rockies, and 15-45 cm (6-18 inches) for the Skeena Range/interior regions during this storm.

Extended Forecast

After a relative break in the action on Saturday (11/28), the next storm is slated to bring more snow on Sunday night and Monday (11/29-11/30). This storm will once again favor the Coast Range, while Northern BC and perhaps the Northern Columbias (i.e. Revelstoke, Rogers Pass) could also do well, with lighter snow for the interior areas closer to the U.S. border.

Looking farther out, storms will continue to reach Coastal BC every couple of days with less moisture making it inland as high pressure ridging builds in from the south. This ridging will also lead to warmer temperatures and higher freezing levels that will need to be monitored.

Thanks for reading!

ALAN SMITH

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Geography Key

Coastal BC
Whistler, Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, Mt. Seymour, Sasquatch Mountain, Mt. Washington, Mt. Cain, Bella Coola Heli Skiing, Coast Range, Coquihalla Summit, Vancouver Island, Coast Range Inland Region

Interior BC - North/Central Columbia
Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Rogers Pass, Mustang Powder Cats, Monashee Snowcats, Kingfisher Heli, White Grizzly Cat Skiing, Great Northern Snowcat Skiing, Eagle Pass Heli, Keefer Lake Lodge, CMH Adamants, CMH Gothics, CMH Monashees, CMH Revelstoke, CMH Galena, CMH Bobbie Burns, CMH Bugaboos, CMH Cariboos, CMH Valemount, Mike Wiegele Heli, Retallack Heli, Stellar Heli, Selkirk Range, Monashee Range, Purcell Range, Fairmont Hot Springs

Interior BC - Kootenay Boundary 
Whitewater, Red Mountain, Fernie, Kimberley, Kootenay Pass, Kokanee Glacier Park, Southern Selkirk/Purcell Mountains, Island Lake Cat Skiing, Snow Water Heli, Valhalla Powdercats, CMH Kootenay, CMH Nomads

Interior BC - Okanagan
Big White, Silver Star, Sun Peaks, Apex Mountain, Baldy Mountain

Northern BC
Shames Mountain, Hudson Bay Mountain, Powder King, Murray Ridge, Northern Coast Range, Skeena Range, Cariboo Range, Northern Rockies, CMH Cariboos, CMH Valemount, Skeena Cat and Heli Skiing, Bella Coola Eagle Lodge

 

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